Archive for September, 2009


Flash Heart

by mdjb

Woke from a vivid dream. Hurriedly scribbled the details. Thought, “This has the makings of a brilliant tale—born of my unconscious.” Went back to sleep.

Next morning, upon rereading, thought, “Too abstruse. Lacks verisimilitude.” So, fleshed it out; smoothed the edges. 1006 words.

Showed it to a trusted friend, who said, “I don’t get it.”

Rewrote and pared for about a week. 902 words. Showed it again.

“Better,” he said, “But don’t like the ending.”

“My favorite part, damn! I’ll work on it.”

Took the opportunity to prune “–ly” words, excess “ands”; modified half the original vision. Tallied 727. Skipped the friend—posted directly to the online workshop.

Waited five days. Garnered five paltry reviews.

One remarked, “The ending is too upbeat.”

Second advised, “Cut ALL adverbs.” Did. 682 words.

Another complained, “Run-on sentences.” Tore away more conjunctions. 590 count.

Another suggested, “Lose the first, third and sixth graphs.” Performed surgery; at 348 words, its heart was still beating.

Number Five chimed, “Every word of Flash must have resonance. Use more colorful verbs.” Restructured. Had a 256-word piece that sang—to me; more surreal than the dream that woke me.

Reposted on the big board.

A newcomer carped, “I think Hemingway already wrote this.”



by mdjb

This story has been taken down for an overhaul.

Thanks to all who read and commented. Your kind words and advice have inspired me to rewrite parts, and this piece has been published on Out of Ruins where it fits in nicely.

Thanks again.